This Client Update covers the key amendments to the laws of the Republic of Kazakhstan ("RK") and various legal developments introduced in February 2017.
NOVELTIES IN LEGISLATION
The laws covered by the present Client Update are related to both public and private sectors. Some of them may be of interest to you as they may affect your business in Kazakhstan.
We would like to draw your attention to the following legal acts.
On Forensic Expert Activities
On 10 February 2017, the President of the RK signed the Law No.44-VI "On Forensic Expert Activities".
The Law introduces the following key amendments:
- Forensic Experts Chamber of the RK – a non-commercial professional self-financing organization protecting rights and legal interests, coordination of Chamber members' activities and law compliance.
- Validation of forensic methods. The Law requires that unique, newly developed or modified methods such as comparison with results received by other methods, inter-laboratory professional testing and systematic evaluation of result affecting factors be validated.
The Law came into force on 25 February 2017.
Customs Duty Rates
On 13 February 2017, the Prime-Minister of the RK signed the Decree No. 56 concerning customs duty rates.
According to the Decree customs duty rates were changed from foreign currency (EUR) to tenge.
The Decree came into force on 1 March 2017.
Concession Contracts Advisory Support
On 2 February 2017, the Prime-Minister of the RK signed the Decree No. 33 concerning designation of the legal entity for providing advisory support to concession projects.
According to the Decree, Kazakhstan Project Preparation Fund Limited Liability Partnership is a legal entity providing advisory support for republican and local concession projects, unless otherwise specified in the decision of a local executive body, and also republican projects of public private partnership.
The Decree will come into force on the first day of its official publishment. As of this Client Update, there was no official publication.
Second-Tier Banks Conservation
On 26 December 2016, the Chairman of the National Bank of the RK signed the Decree of the Management Board of the National Bank of the RK No. 311 concerning approval of the Rules for application (establishment) of conservation regime in relation to second-tier banks.
Banks conservation is a compulsory implementation of administrative, legal, financial, organizational and technical and other activities and procedures aimed at financial rehabilitation and quality improvement of a bank by the decision of the National Bank of the RK.
The Decree sets forth the following provisions:
- The only contracts that can be terminated if necessary are those concluded by bank and providing for bank investment or unilaterally introducing amendments and additions thereto, including changes in rates, tariffs and contract period;
- Conservation may invisage transfer of bank's assets and obligations to other banks partially or entirely;
- Interim heads of banks are prohibited from concluding options with investors on purchase of bank's shares and bonds convertible to bank's shares;
- During the conservation an interim head reports to the National Bank of the RK on each action within 3 working days upon completion of each action and files a final report within 5 working days upon completion of the last action.
The Decree came into force on 27 February 2017.
Export and Import Licensing
On 13 October 2016, the Minister of Investments and Development of the RK signed the Order No. 719 "On Approval of Export and Import Licensing Rules".
The Rules define the procedure for issuing export and import license.
To obtain export and import license an applicant must file the following documents:
- an application;
- a certificate of state registration (re-registration) of a legal entity;
- a license fee payment receipt;
- qualification requirements compliance documents.
License is issued within 30 working days for duration up to 1 year.
The Order came into force on 22 February 2017.
Special Investment Contract
On 8 February 2017, the Minister of Investments and Development of the RK signed the Order No. 85 "On Approval of the Rules and Conditions for Execution and Termination of a Special Investment Contract".
The main distinction of a special investment contract is that it exempts a legal entity of the RK from tax duties when importing technological equipment, its component and spare parts, raw materials and/or materials and also raw materials and/or materials as part of finished products produced in a Free Economic Zone or a vacant warehouse.
To conclude a special investment contract an applicant must file an application along with required documents.
The Order came into force on 23 February 2017.
Contracts for International Sale of Goods
In February 2017, a dossier for the Draft Law of the RK "On Ratification of the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods" was submitted to the Parliament of the RK ("the Draft Law").
The Draft Law proposes ratification of the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods signed in Vienna on 11 April 1980 ("the Vienna Convention"). The Vienna Convention provides a modern uniform and fair regime of concluding contracts for the international sale of goods and contributes to a great extent to creating certainty of trade exchange and to reducing transaction costs.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.